By Miriam Raftery
September 8, 2019 (Julian) -- A long-vacant lot in the heart of downtown Julian may soon become a town square with an amphitheater and community park to serve as a hub for community gatherings, holiday events, a farmer’s market, art walk and more. Over $182,000 -- nearly a third of the $600,000 funds needed--have been pledged, according to the Julian Town Square website.
Funding includes individual donations, money raised at a Friday fundraiser, as well as corporate contributions, including from Chevron, which paid to help clean up the site at Main Street and Washington that has been vacant since a gas station was torn down in 1989. It previously housed a hotel, shops and Sheriff station at various points in Julian’s past.
Now, the Julian Community Heritage Foundation is asking for public help from visitors outside of Julian to help make their dream become a reality.
“Our community has watched the years pass by while this beautiful and strategically located property has remained a barren and empty space,” the Foundation’s webpage states. “We believe it’s time to change that and we need your help to make it happen.”
The Foundation has applied to the state for nonprofit status, a process that will require federal IRS approval and additional document filings to complete, so for now, they have partnered up with the Community Action, Service and Advocacy (CASA), as fiscal sponsor on the project. All proceeds will be processed through their non-profit and will be going directly towards funding the town square project, according to a Go Fund Me page set up for donations.
The group has drawn up preliminary town square designs which have been presented to the county Board of Supervisors. Leader are negotiating with the property owner for purchase of the lot and Creative Flow Media has sponsored marketing and campaign management for the ambitious project.
The idea was the brainchild of Teak Nichols, along with the support of Jean Duffy and Dana Pettersen. Various other individuals and organizations have supported the initiative in various ways including: Chevron, The Julian Chamber of Commerce, the Julian Historical Society and the San Diego Backcountry Visitors Bureau, as well as Community Action, Service and Advocacy (CASA).
To make a tax-deductible donation, click here.
Learn more: https://juliantownsquare.com/
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